The Old Spring

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein


Under rocks whereon the rose
Like a streak of morning glows;
Where the azure-throated newt
Drowses on the twisted root;
And the brown bees, humming homeward,
Stop to suck the honeydew;
Fern- and leaf-hid, gleaming gloamward,
Drips the wildwood spring I knew,
Drips the spring my boyhood knew.


Myrrh and music everywhere
Haunt its cascades - like the hair
That a Naiad tosses cool,
Swimming strangely beautiful,
With white fragrance for her bosom,
And her mouth a breath of song -
Under leaf and branch and blossom
Flows the woodland spring along,
Sparkling, singing flows along.


Still the wet wan mornings touch
Its gray rocks, perhaps; and such
Slender stars as dusk may have
Pierce the rose that roofs its wave;
Still the thrush may call at noontide
And the whippoorwill at night;
Nevermore, by sun or moontide,
Shall I see it gliding white,
Falling, flowing, wild and white.

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